The average American spends about $7,729 on food each year or about 12.8 percent of their income. Are you looking at your budget and trying to save money? First, take a look at your monthly grocery bills to see how the costs add up.

With the cost of food at an all-time high, creating a grocery budget is crucial whether you're shopping for one or a family of four.

Meal Plan

The best way to save money is to go to the store with a plan and a list. If you need inspiration for meals, review the store ads before you go. Try to incorporate leftovers in your planning, so you don't have any wastes.

Stick to your list and keep away from impulse buys. If your grocery store offers free online orders, you have a better chance to save on those impulse buys and stick to that list.

Check Your Pantry

Find out what ingredients you already have, and go from there as you plan your meals. Make it a challenge or game to use up everything in your fridge, freezer, and pantry for the week.

Grocery Budget Spend Less Food

Calculate as You Shop

Take a calculator with you. Set your budget number, and calculate purchases as you go. This will help you stick to your budget.

You should figure out your budget for groceries figure out your normal monthly expenses like mortgage, loans, and utilities. Calculate your salary and what is left—be sure you save enough for other expenses. If you need to see a breakdown of your pay, use the PayStubCreator.

Use Coupons

Check out the Sunday paper for coupons or sites like Coupons.com, SmartSource.com, or Redplum. There are also apps on your phone for rebates such as Ibotta or Checkout 51.

Buy Generic

Don't pay extra for packaging. Most of the time the biggest difference between store-brand products and the popular name brands is the packaging. 

Check Out Other Grocery Stores

What's the main reason you go to the same grocery store? If it's just a habit, maybe it's time to check out some other stores to see if you can save money.

Start by looking at store ads from other retailers. It might be hard to get used to another store, but if it can save you money, it's worth it in the end.

Cut Back Your Visits

How often do you go to the store? Those quick $20-$30 visits add up.

Try going to the store only once or twice a week to save on your impulse buys. This means you will have to spend more time planning.

Only Buy Meat on Sale

Meat is one of the most expensive purchases at the grocery store. Wait until it is on sale before you buy it. You will get used to the sales cycle and can stock up your freezer and save money.

Save on Produce

Buy produce when it is in season. You can also save money on produce by looking in the frozen food aisle. These vegetables are frozen at their peak ripeness, and may actually taste better than off-season produce.

Also, check out your local farmers' markets for produce. Go toward the end because you may be able to get a bargain since vendors don't want to take anything home.

Grocery Budget Final Thoughts

You can save money on your grocery budget. It just requires a little planning. If you are ready to look at other ways to save money, put together a budget for your family and stop spending more than you should.